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  #1  
Old 5 Nov 2007
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Cool G650 country

I just went in for a look at the new G series last weekend. they didn't have the xmoto on display at my local Beemer boutique, but that's not a model I would consider (or fits into our purposes) in any case.

As is often the case, these bikes are different in person then on paper.

After I climbing aboard the xchallenge I looked down to see the some 6 inches of clearence under my feet - I don't think I would want to ride this bike with any amount of weight on it. At 168 cm in height (5 foot 6), I would basically have to get off at intersections to hold the bike up - not really a practical adventure tourer for anyone under 6'2"!

That leaves the Xcountry, which is being billed in the same catagory as Triumph's new 'scrambler' - a mostly urban fun bike that doesn't mind a bit of dirt road in it's diet. The first thing that struck me is how light the bike is, it definitely feels quit a bit lighter then the F650GS. The seat height is still high (32-33 inches) but easily manageable. I found the seating position and reach to the bars to be about perfect for me.

Obviously, BMW hasn't really set this bike up to serve our needs: The fuel range is ridiculous, the mud guard is to close to the front wheel, and the plastic 'bash plate' is a joke - really more of a beauty plate, there is no luggage rack, and the strength of the rear sub frame must be questioned (as always). However, I tend to think any bike is going to require modification to be a useful adventure tourer - so it goes without saying that parts will have to be swapped. I'm sure touratech is feaverishly working on these variously issues right now.

On the plus side BMW has reduced the vibration levels of this engine, given us truly phenomenal fuel economy, and actually produced a light, comfortable 650 single with modern suspension. so you really only need to add 2 more gallons of gas to get respectable distance from this machine. I'm sure that most of the inevitable flood of aftermarket bash plates, panniers, and various aluminum do hickies made for the xchallenge will also fit this bike.

In my view, this bike has some potential: sort of a DR400 with a bigger engine, better seating arrangement, and less vibration at hwy speeds (of course I can already hear people saying "but isn't that the DR 650?"). Probably the real question to ask is why someone would choose a G650Country over the existing F650GS - a very similar bike? I think this would have to come down the points above: lighter weight, less vibs, and better (stock) suspension.

All in all, I think this bike deserves a second look despite its somewhat vague marketing niche. I'd like to see some early rider reviews on this model and it's stable mates...
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  #2  
Old 5 Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo View Post
I just went in for a look at the new G series last weekend. ...
That's the point here in the UK; I have yet to see one on the roads or meet an owner.
Will be worth waiting to see what KTM have to offer with the 690 Adv.

........and then there is the new F650GS with the 800cc parallel twin engine!!
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  #3  
Old 7 Nov 2007
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I've seen a couple of XChallenges and (I think) an XCountry on the road in the UK.

In my opinion, both would make a great travel bike, with a few suitable accessories.
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  #4  
Old 7 Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I've seen a couple of XChallenges and (I think) an XCountry on the road in the UK.

In my opinion, both would make a great travel bike, with a few suitable accessories.

Did you get any feedback from the owners, perchance?
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  #5  
Old 7 Nov 2007
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Wink lots of choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo View Post
I just went in for a look at the new G series last weekend. they didn't have the xmoto on display at my local Beemer boutique, but that's not a model I would consider (or fits into our purposes) in any case.

As is often the case, these bikes are different in person then on paper.

After I climbing aboard the xchallenge I looked down to see the some 6 inches of clearence under my feet - I don't think I would want to ride this bike with any amount of weight on it. At 168 cm in height (5 foot 6), I would basically have to get off at intersections to hold the bike up - not really a practical adventure tourer for anyone under 6'2"!

That leaves the Xcountry, which is being billed in the same catagory as Triumph's new 'scrambler' - a mostly urban fun bike that doesn't mind a bit of dirt road in it's diet. The first thing that struck me is how light the bike is, it definitely feels quit a bit lighter then the F650GS. The seat height is still high (32-33 inches) but easily manageable. I found the seating position and reach to the bars to be about perfect for me.

Obviously, BMW hasn't really set this bike up to serve our needs: The fuel range is ridiculous, the mud guard is to close to the front wheel, and the plastic 'bash plate' is a joke - really more of a beauty plate, there is no luggage rack, and the strength of the rear sub frame must be questioned (as always). However, I tend to think any bike is going to require modification to be a useful adventure tourer - so it goes without saying that parts will have to be swapped. I'm sure touratech is feaverishly working on these variously issues right now.

On the plus side BMW has reduced the vibration levels of this engine, given us truly phenomenal fuel economy, and actually produced a light, comfortable 650 single with modern suspension. so you really only need to add 2 more gallons of gas to get respectable distance from this machine. I'm sure that most of the inevitable flood of aftermarket bash plates, panniers, and various aluminum do hickies made for the xchallenge will also fit this bike.

In my view, this bike has some potential: sort of a DR400 with a bigger engine, better seating arrangement, and less vibration at hwy speeds (of course I can already hear people saying "but isn't that the DR 650?"). Probably the real question to ask is why someone would choose a G650Country over the existing F650GS - a very similar bike? I think this would have to come down the points above: lighter weight, less vibs, and better (stock) suspension.

All in all, I think this bike deserves a second look despite its somewhat vague marketing niche. I'd like to see some early rider reviews on this model and it's stable mates...

Good summary from the same 3 versions that I have seen, but only standing in a dealer showroom; with the introduction of the latest Beemers (e.g. the DRZ400 = G450), these bikes will struggle, here in the UK anyway, to make many sales - for the reasons you have identified here + their pricing.
And then there are the F800/F650GS and the Yamaha Tenere in Europe with another bike to come from KTM.
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  #6  
Old 7 Nov 2007
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I desperately tried to like the X-Challenge and the X-Country, even to the extent of doing the Brecon Beacons Offroad event on a X-Challenge: XChallenge vs F650GS, XR400R and 1200GSA - ::. UKGS'er.com .::

Like Timo, I think the X-Country is the more useful bike, but Timo points out all the areas that were a concern to me. The killer problem is the size of the tank--9 litres is just too small for touring in unknown regions. If BMW had made it 12 litres I would have tried to overcome all the other problems.

Also, the bike is very expensive for what it is, and when the new 800cc F650GS becomes available at just £500 more than the G650 X-Country it will seal its fate.

Tim
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  #7  
Old 8 Nov 2007
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Did you get any feedback from the owners, perchance?
No, they were riding.

But I will be able to provide feedback shortly. Watch this space (or another thread). After much thought about using a 250 for travel, I've come back to my original preferred option (for the trips I do): a 'light' (i.e. unfaired) 600cc class machine with a few necessary accessories such as a bigger tank.

Cheers.
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  #8  
Old 8 Nov 2007
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I had a X Country for a day as a courtesy bike and I have to say I loved it. By the end of the day I didn't want to give it back. Like the previous posters comment, if it wasn't for the tiny tank size it'd be seriously tempting. During the course of the day I averaged 65mpg.

Yes they're expensive, but in the UK you can currently get an £1,100 deposit contribution and free insurance. Six month old examples are going for around £4,400.
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  #9  
Old 13 Nov 2007
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Cool Fuel capacity/ X country

Touratech has a tank in the works (available next spring?) similar to the one they designed for the HP1 and the F series. It will be expensive, but should address the most obvious lacking of the G/X models. This coupled with a better bash plate an a few other guards should put this bike on the map as a viable adventure tourer - the problem as always is the cost. I figure this will add at least $3000 dollars to the cost of this already expensive (overpriced???) model.
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  #10  
Old 13 Nov 2007
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For long distance touring this bike makes no sense to me as there are other bikes with better capabilities...and at a lower cost.

The Roundel gurantees nothing......
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  #11  
Old 26 May 2008
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Ticked boxes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo View Post
Touratech has a tank in the works (available next spring?) similar to the one they designed for the HP1 and the F series. It will be expensive, but should address the most obvious lacking of the G/X models. This coupled with a better bash plate an a few other guards should put this bike on the map as a viable adventure tourer - the problem as always is the cost. I figure this will add at least $3000 dollars to the cost of this already expensive (overpriced???) model.

TANK

LUGGAGE RACK

BASHPLATE

THE SPIN


I'm really happy with this bike.
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